International Computers Ltd was a British company formed in 1968 as a part of the Industrial Expansion Act of the Wilson Labour Government. ICL was an initiative of Tony Benn, the Minister of Technology, to create a British computer industry that could compete with major world manufacturers like IBM. ICL represented the last step in a series of mergers that had taken place in the industry since the late 1950s.
The main portions of ICL were formed by merging International Computers and Tabulators (ICT) with English Electric Computers, the latter itself a recent merger of Elliott Automation with English Electric Leo Marconi computers. EELM was itself a merger of the computer divisions of English Electric, LEO and Marconi.
On its formation the company inherited two main product lines: from ICT the ICT 1900 Series of mainframes, and from English Electric Computers (EEC) the System 4, a range of IBM-compatible mainframe clones, based on the RCA Spectra 70.